Aster Yellows vs. Eriophyid Mites on Coneflower

We’ve been getting a few calls lately from northern gardeners wondering if their coneflowers have aster yellows. That’s one option—the other is an Eriophyid mite infestation. Here’s what you need to know about these two plant problems. Aster Yellows This disease is fairly common and can occur on many plants, including tomatoes, marigolds, snapdragons, even…

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Garden Solution: Spider Mites

This article by Laura Schwarz first appeared in the January/February 2019 edition of the Northern Gardener  Populations of spider mites go up and down from year to year. In 2018, for example, an abnormally dry summer led to large numbers of the pests. In both my home garden and in the many gardens I tended…

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What Is Wrong with My Tomatoes?

Like a lot of northern gardeners, my tomatoes were looking fantastic up until about a week ago. The plants were large, flowers and fruit plentiful and everything looking green and gorgeous. Then, we had a heavy down pour and another, and after the rain came heat and humidity. And, now, I’m wondering what is wrong…

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Growing Hostas in Pots? Why Not!

Using perennials—and even small shrubs—in containers has become more and more common as gardens shrink and breeders develop compact varieties. Hostas are among those perennials that do very well growing in the confines of containers. They come in thousands of cultivars and they are easy to care for, making them the perfect plant for busy…

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Will Your Plants Survive This Super-Cold Spell?

School is closed Monday, travel is considered dangerous, and Minnesota gardeners are looking out at their shrubs, trees and perennials and wondering, “Can my plants survive this super-cold spell?” The short answer is: Many will do just fine. Some not-so-much, and which is which depends on several factors. First, are they adapted to the cold?…

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